Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Defending champ Kenin exits; McDonald upsets Coric

Defending champion Sofia Kenin lost to Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-2 in the
second round of the Australian Open. 2018 photo by Paul Bauman
   Sofia Kenin not only lost today in the Australian Open, the defending champion went down meekly.
   Kaia Kanepi of Estonia dismissed the fourth-seeded Kenin, from Pembroke Pines, Fla., 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes in the second round in Melbourne.
   The 5-foot-11 (1.80-meter) Kanepi, 35, clubbed 10 aces, committed only two double faults and won 80 percent of the points on her first serve (28 of 35). The 5-foot-7 (1.70-meter) Kenin, 22, had 10 winners and 22 unforced errors.
   Kanepi has reached the quarterfinals of the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open twice each but has never advanced past the third round of the Australian Open. Kenin won Northern California Challengers in 2016 at age 17, 2017 and 2018.
   Mackenzie McDonald, a 25-year-old product of Piedmont in the San Francisco Bay Area, surprised 22nd-seeded Borna Coric of Croatia 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Coric, 24, reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal in the U.S. Open last September.
   McDonald, now based in Orlando, Fla., is scheduled to play Lloyd Harris, 23, of South Africa on Friday (PST). Harris, who won the 2018 Stockton, Calif., Challenger, topped wild card Alexei Popyrin, a 21-year-old Australian, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3.
   McDonald defeated Harris 6-7 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-3 in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Seoul Challenger en route to the title in their only previous meeting.
   On the women's side, Kaja Juvan, a 20-year-old Slovenian, defeated fellow qualifier Mayar Sherif (Fresno State, 2015-16) of Egypt 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-3. Sherif became the first woman from her country to win a main-draw match in a Grand Slam tournament when she beat qualifier Chloe Paquet of France 7-5, 7-5 in the opening round.
   In the first round of men's doubles, fifth seeds and defending champions Rajeev Ram, a volunteer assistant coach at the University of California, Berkeley, and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain beat Jonny O'Mara of Great Britain and Artem Sitak, a Russia native who plays for New Zealand, 6-4, 6-4.
   In a women's doubles opener, Sharon Fichman of Canada and Giuliana Olmos, a product of Fremont in the Bay Area who plays for Mexico, ousted fifth-seeded Hao-Ching Chan and Latisha Chan of Chinese Taipei 1-6, 7-6 (1), 6-2.
   ATP Challenger Tour — Top-seeded Andre Goransson (Cal, 2011-14) of Sweden and David Pel of the Netherlands eliminated Sadio Doumbia and Hugo Gaston of France 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the first round of the €88,520 ($107,357) Cherbourg, France, Challenger.
   ITF Women's Circuit — Zoe Kruger of South Africa outlasted Carol Zhao (Stanford, 2014-16) of Canada 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday in the opening round of the $25,000 Ilana Kloss International in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

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